Joseba Beloki has slammed Tour de France organizers and his own French team, La Boulangere, for not allowing him to take prescribed asthma medication while racing.
The Spaniard, who has finished on the Tour de France podium three times from 2000 to 2002, was back on the road this week after breaking a leg in a dramatic crash during last year’s Tour, when he was being pursued by five-time race winner Lance Armstrong.
Beloki blamed his struggle in the first two stages of this week’s Bicicleta Vasca on not being able to treat his asthma attacks because the medicine he has used since childhood contains the steroid cortisone.
“With my background and the proof I have, the Spanish federation allows me to take it and the UCI (world cycling body) permits it,” the 30-year-old told sports daily Marca.
“But neither my team nor the French federation will allow me to put the product on my health record and if I take it I risk testing positive during the race.”
Beloki is using the race in his native Basque country to warm up for this year’s Tour de France in July.
Davis wins German stage; Sinkewitz keeps lead
Australian rider Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros) won a sprint finish to take the fifth stage of the Tour of Germany on Friday, a 192km run between Kelheim and Kulmbach.
Germany’s Patrik Sinkewitz (Quick Step-Davitamon) retains the leader’s yellow jersey. Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) finished with the leading bunch in 28th spot and sits third overall going into Saturday’s mountain stage in the Czech Republic.
1. Allan Davis (Aus), Liberty Seguros, 4:20:07
2. 2. Danilo Hondo (G), Gerolsteiner
3. Steffen Radochla (G), Illes Balears
4. Jens Voigt (G), CSC
5. Fabrizio Guidi (I), CSC
6. Roy Sentjens (Ned), Rabobank
7. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile
8. Sergio Marinangeli (I), Domina Vacanze
9. Salvatore Commesso (I), Saeco
10. Sebastien Hinault (F), Credit Agricole, all same time
1. Patrik Sinkewitz (G) Quick Step-Davitamon, 17:30:50
2. Jan Hruska (Cze), Liberty Seguros, at 0:10
3. Jan Ullrich (G), T-Mobile, at 0:18
4. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Sp), Liberty Seguros, s.t.
5. Jens Voigt (G), CSC, at 0:20
6. Andreas Kloeden (G), T-Mobile, at 0:49
7. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears, at 1:00
8. Jose Ivan Guiterrez (Sp), Illes Balears, at 1:12
9. Davide Rebellin (I), Gerolsteiner, at 1:37
10. Pieter Weening (Ned), Rabobank, at 2:05
Liberty Seguros sweeps third stage at Vasca
Liberty Seguros finished one-two-three in Friday’s third stage of the Bicicleta Vasca (Euskal Bizikleta), ousting Martin Perdiguero (Saunier Duval-Prodir) from the overall lead and putting stage-winner Angel Vicioso in his stead.
Vicioso and teammates Robert Heras and Koldo Gil crossed the line together after the hilly, 155km stage from Agurain to Bidegoian, 26 seconds ahead of a four-man chase.
The Liberty Seguros threesome now holds the top-three spots overall going into Saturday’s stage.
1. Ángel Vicioso (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 155km in 4:07:33
2. Roberto Heras (Sp) Liberty Seguros
3. Koldo GIL (Sp) Liberty Seguros, all same time
4. Peio Arresitunnaindia (Sp), Cafés Baqué, at 0:26
5. Txema Del Olmo (Sp), Milanezza
6. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel
7. Roberto Laiseka (Sp) Euskalteel, all s.t.
8. Leonardo Piepoli (I) Saunier Duval, at 0:31
9. Samuel Sanchez (Sp) Euskaltel, s.t.
10. M.A. Martín Perdiguero (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 0:58
1. Angel Vicioso (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 12:12:39
2. Roberto Heras (Sp), Liberty Seguros
3. Koldo Gil (Sp), Liberty Seguros, all s.t.
4. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp) Euskaltel, at 0:26
5. Txema Del Olmo (Sp) , Milanezza, s.t.
6. Samuel Sanchez (Sp) Euskaltel, at 0:31
7. Roberto Laiseka (SPA) Euskaltel at 0:53
8. M.A. Martín Perdiguero (Sp) Saunier Duval, at 0:58
9. Marcos Serrano (Sp) Liberty Seguros
10. Luis Perez (Sp) Cofidis, both s.t.